Affirmative Action

Affirmative action was developed in an attempt to further the real and unforeseen effects of racial discrimination that have existed in both subtle and overt ways in this nation since its inception. Racial division, overt segregation and subtle racially driven policies and practices have been oppressive to minorities and have created object disenfranchisement, especially with regard to education and employment opportunities. Affirmative action attempts to ensure the proportionate placement of racial minorities and in some cases women in positions of opportunity by allowing racial and gender information to be used as a criterion for enrollment in education programs and in government jobs or government contracts. The programs were set in place to advance minorities to a place where the programs were not needed, and while some argue that they are still very much needed others argue that they are antiquated and create opportunity for discrimination of other sorts. (Kivel)
John Shimkus, R. Ill., acknowledged the history of inequality that supporters of affirmative action say makes the programs necessary. “Unfortunately, not every person starts at the same place in our society in our educational institutions. Many times those barriers to advancement are based on race.” Shimkus said. (Lewis NP)
The arguments in favor of affirmative action are that it will be a long term stop gap attempt to redistribute opportunity more fairly in the nation and it is a temporary situation that will not be needed in the future if it is successful now. Opponents of affirmative action charge that the practice creates many situations of reverse discrimination as majority members of society are then barred from opportunity even in some cases where they are equally or more qualified than minority members who receive what they think is preferential treatment. (Bronner NP) As a result of many years of opposition to affirmative action, mainly based on the idea of…

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